Castello Murat (Murat Castle) is an ancient fort built in the 15th century in Pizzo. The castle is named after Joachim Murat, King of Naples and brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was imprisoned here and sentenced to death by shooting in 1815.
The castle was built in two different historical periods. The Mastia Tower (Torre Mastia), the largest tower of the castle, part of the defensive system implemented by the Angevins, dates back to the end of the 14th century. The tower was built for defense against the Saracen raids.
About 100 years later, the castle was completed by Ferdinand I of Aragon, for the same purpose – to reject the Saracen attacks. The castle in Pizzo is one of many fortifications built under the Aragonese rule, in towns like Crotone, Cariati, Corigliano, Belvedere and Reggio Calabria.
To the already existing Angevin tower, it was added a massive rectangular body, equipped with a tapered tower and a watchtower overlooking the Marina. The works lasted from 1481 to 1485.
In 1505, it was ceded by Ferdinand the Catholic to the De Mendoza and later, by succession, to the De Silva, Dukes of the Infantado, who kept it until 1806. Passed to the state property, it was sold in 1884 to the Municipality of Pizzo. By Decree of 3 June 1892, it was declared a National Monument.
Today, inside the castle, the last days of Joachim Murat are reproduced, from the cell where he was imprisoned, in the undergrounds, to the one in which the King spent the last moments of his life and in which he wrote the farewell letter to his wife Carolina and his four sons, a cell located on the second floor.
HOW TO GET THERE
Castello Murat is located about 1.4 kilometers from Pizzo Train Station, right in the historical center of the city, in Piazza Musolino. If you need precise directions to the castle, from any point in the city, use the map below.